Dream coats in a winter wonderland

By by Julia Nauer

‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ It’s that time of year again. ‘ ‘ ‘ Yes, that’s right. Time to buy a new winter coat…. ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ It’s that time of year again. ‘ ‘ ‘ Yes, that’s right. Time to buy a new winter coat. Although I don’t recommend wearing a gorgeous new jacket to a dirty South Oakland party, we’ll use it as an excuse to explore outerwear options.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ With the recent opening of department store giant Nordstrom at Ross Park Mall, the North Hills shopping center transforms into a bona fide shopping destination, something that the Pittsburgh area desperately needed. So here’s a rundown of my ‘if I won the lottery’ wish list of coats from a few of the exiting new stores.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ Juicy Couture ‘- Best known for its (debatably tacky) velour track suits, this brand is definitely worth a second look for its other beautifully crafted feminine and fun pieces with a touch of whimsy. My top outerwear pick is the Double-Breasted Coat in yellow, black and white plaid accented by a faux-fur collar for a dramatic effect. Complementing this wool coat are gold tone buttons flanked by flap pockets at the hip.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ Burberry ‘- This iconic British fashion house brings classic style to the ‘Burgh. My favorite look here is the Ruffle Front Coat. This pretty little dress coat is outfitted with grosgrain ribbon ruffles framing its rounded neckline and punctuated by black lacquered buttons and a fabric belt. Never mind the, ahem, four-digit price tag ‘mdash; I can practically feel the fabulous black-checked lining of this virgin wool coat slipping over a short party dress as I head out the door.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ White House Black Market ‘- For more affordable options that can be mixed and matched with every outfit, White House Black Market is destination numero uno. Relax in the Refined Sateen Military Jacket and let the mandarin collar, sumptuous sateen and light gray cotton do the talking.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ Michael Kors ‘- Take a walk on the wild side in the MICHAEL Michael Kors Leopard Print Trench. This ferociously feminine, button-front, belted-waist coat will have gentlemen roaring in your direction. Don’t forget to tame your look with more understated basics.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ BGBG Max Azria ‘- Just because you want to be warm doesn’t mean you want to look like you’ve gained 20 pounds in the process. BCBG understands this and designed a perfectly slim puffer, the Fitted Down Coat. A polished bow tied at the waist finishes off this cozy black jacket along with an over exaggerated puffed collar.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ Kate Spade ‘- Looking for a modern update on a classic preppy style? Look no further than Kate Spade’s Molly Coat. Produced in Italian Wool, this double-breasted, mid-length coat hits just below the knee in charcoal, black and mustard shades. Bracelet length sleeves, oversized buttons, a self-tie belt and a rounded neck complete this must have. But what’s really special is the colorful lining that makes you feel like you’re opening a present every time you put on your coat. Charcoal is lined in purple, black is lined with green, and the mustard color is lined with a deep chocolate brown. ‘ ‘ ‘ Nordstrom ‘- And now for the main event. The selection is vast, but my pick is a ‘classically chic, ’50s inspired’ Tracy Reese Belted Trench in a unique pattern called Fauna Weft, fashioned onto a silk and wool blend fabric, creating a luxuriously elegant topper.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ I’ve been shopping at Ross Park Mall since I was being pushed around in a stroller, and now, walking through the halls lined with upscale shops, I have a hard time believing I’m even in Pittsburgh.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ I probably won’t make any major purchases at most of these new stores until I have a full time job, but it’s nice to be able to see all the high fashion items up close for inspiration. So I hope I’ve given you some inspiration for your winter coat-shopping excursion.